Daily MVP Film Breakdown: LaMarcus Aldridge’s Two-Way Dominance

LaMarcus Aldridge has fully recovered from his early season struggles, as evidenced by his dominant 38-point performance in a huge win in Los Angeles.

It was the second night of a back to back, but you wouldn’t have been able to tell by watching Aldridge. He did all of the dirty work on both ends of the floor: setting screens, rolling hard, fighting for position, boxing out, and protecting the rim with purpose.

The defense has been the most remarkable part of the Spurs’ turnaround, going from one of the league’s worst to one of the league’s best seemingly overnight.

As Jabari Young of the Athletic reported, a big reason for this is the Spurs are now icing pick and rolls, pushing ball handlers away from the middle and inviting them to take mid-range jumpers. Aldridge plays a pivotal role, dropping into the paint as the ball defender forces the action to the side.

Aldridge is also playing tremendous defense outside of the system. If the pick and roll does come down the middle, he does an excellent job of containing both the driver and roll man before contesting the shot.

Aldridge also put on a show protecting the rim from drivers and then rotating to stop the cutter he helped off of with perfect timing. His instincts and anticipation at that end are better than they have even been in his career.

Aldridge’s attention to detail and his focus on protecting the rim have made a huge difference for San Antonio. He seems ever ready for anything the offense could throw at him.

Aldridge worked just as hard on the offensive end of the floor. This team is at its best when LA sets screens, and he set some physical picks to free teammates for open shots throughout this game.

Most of Aldridge’s own buckets came after he set a pick and either dove to the basket or popped to an open area of the floor. His jumper was wet, and he got to the rim with ease.

When Aldridge did post up or otherwise attack in isolation, he didn’t waste any time waiting for a double team. He had a size advantage over Harrell, and that makes a world of difference with LA’s jumper and post game.

Aldridge also used that size advantage to bully smaller defenders on the low block, establishing position within ten feet of the basket and often getting an easy deuce out of it.

The Spurs are 16-4 when Aldridge scores over 20, and 4-13 when he doesn’t. As Gregg Popovich would say, he worked his fanny off to score a season-high 38 points after playing 38 minutes and scoring 24 in a tough loss the night before. When he hustles on both ends like he did against the Clippers, these Spurs are tough to beat.

Daily previews of matchups to watch around the league, and film breakdowns of the best performance from the night before. Twitter @RealTomPetrini, Spurs interviews and analysis @projectspurs.

Hot NBA Videos Stories